Local News

Warning of Strike Action by Fire and Security Workers at HIAL Airports

Prospect members working in Fire and Security at Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd have voted to take industrial action over pay.

In October 2022 firefighters and security staff at Highlands and Islands Airport Ltd (HIAL) overwhelming rejected a 5% pay offer, significantly below current inflation. Since then, Prospect has sought talks to resolve the dispute but there has been no substantive change of position from either the employer or the Scottish Government.

In a statutory ballot that closed on Tuesday 71% voted for strike action with 84% voting for action short of a strike on a turnout of over 80%, well above the regulatory threshold of 50%.

Prospect, which represents members across all 11 HIAL airports, is now consulting with members on the exact form and dates for industrial action. The union warns that strike action and action short of a strike is likely to cause significant disruption across the remote and rural communities served by the airports. Unite the union has already announced a series of strike dates in February across the Highland and Islands airports and Prospect fully supports Unite members in their campaign.

Fire and Security members enable the safe operation of HIAL airports, supporting vital travel links between some of the most remote communities in Scotland.

Jane Rose, Prospect Negotiations Officer said:

“Our members in Fire and Security are increasingly frustrated at the lack of meaningful progress to resolve this dispute. They overwhelmingly rejected an unacceptable 5% offer in October but since then neither HIAL nor Scottish Government have come back to the table with any serious effort to deliver a pay increase that properly addresses the worst cost-of-living crisis in 40 years.

“Our members don’t want to go on strike, they live in these communities, and they understand the impact action will have on families, friends, local business, and tourism. But after months of delay with no progress, they have been left with no option but to take a stand. 

“Prospect will be meeting again with HIAL in the coming days but unless they move quickly to deliver a meaningful and fair offer on pay and terms and conditions they will create a spring of continual disruption for customers and visitors.”

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